Juniper Networks Inc. isn't going to replace Cisco Systems Inc. as the dominant network infrastructure vendor, but it's banking on its unified network/security management capabilities and high-performance multiservice appliances to bolster its security market position.
Juniper announced the SRX 3000 series appliances, aiming a bit lower in the enterprise market than last year's SRX 5000 line of boxes. The networking and security vendor also announced new versions of its Unified Access Control platform and SSL VPNs. These new versions enhance its adaptive threat management approach, which integrates security and network devices to address threats across the enterprise.
This week's news followed previous announcements of new versions of Security Threat Response Management (STRM), a combined SIEM and network behavior anomaly detection (NBAD) product (OEM'd from QRadar), and Network and Security Manager (NSM).
Juniper's message is integration, built on a common operating system called JUNOS for all network and security products. The vendor has committed to open standards to support third-party products.
It's a message that will sell, Juniper's partners said.
"Networks have to have security and can't just have routers and switches sitting or there not talking to firewalls and IPS systems and everything that's managing and correlating that data," said Matt Blossom, technology solutions program manager at Accuvant Inc., an information security and compliance management consulting firm catering to Fortune 1000 companies and one of the country's largest Juniper resellers.
That need is why Accuvant collapsed networking and security into a single practice (assessment and compliance are the others).
The new UAC and SSL releases support IF-MAP, a protocol from the Trusted Computing Group as part of its Trusted Network Connection (TNC) NAC standard. IF-MAP allows supported network and security devices to dynamically share information. Juniper, understandably, has been a strong force behind TNC, which counters rival Cisco's proprietary NAC approach.
"Juniper's overall strategy is avoiding proprietary implementation and adopting industry standards," said Mark Precious, chief technology officer of VirtualArmor LLC, a Juniper-exclusive reseller and information security integrator and service provider. "The commitment to open standards is going to play a very important part in security infrastructure."
With the new releases, SSL VPN, UAC and Juniper's IDP products can work cooperatively. Take this scenario, for example. A remote user logs on to the corporate network via SSL VPN. After his laptop is allowed on after passing network access control policy checks, he inserts a USB drive and inadvertently triggers a worm attack. The IPS detects the problem and communicates with the SSL VPN to identify the source. The VPN then quarantines the user until the laptop is remediated. STRM, meanwhile, would correlate multiple events as the same worm and generate audit reports. The SRX appliances are high-performance, scalable platforms for firewall/VPN/IDP, with an eye to adding additional services in the future. The 5000 series is aimed at the carrier and very large enterprise market.
"You can take a very large, very capable platform and grow it over time depending on different kinds of metrics," said Brian Lazear, director of product management for Juniper's high-end security systems business unit. "It could be bandwidth, could be different kinds of services they want to enable for finer-grained security policy."
Juniper says the SRX boxes are positioned for data center consolidation, as enterprises look for high performance while they reduce power, heat and space.
The high-end SRX5800 rates at 120 Gbps firewall throughput, 30 Gbps IDP throughput and 350,000 connections per second. The 5600m it says, has about half the throughput.
The 5000s may be more than some enterprises needed, however.
"I don't think every client who bought the 5000 needed that much bandwidth," said Accuvant's Blossom, "but they bought it because they the saw value in consolidating different security systems."
So, the SRX3400 and 3600 fit in a notch down for more of a mass audience, while still offering high performance in a consolidated package.
"Offering something a little more mid-level is going to expand Juniper's acceptance in the marketplace," Blossom said.